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THANK YOU LION FANS


WOW!


I just want to thank all of the students, parents and families, alums, faculty/staff, LionsFund members and all Lion fans who came to cheer on the Lions against Valpo in the BracketBusters game last night.  


You were difference makers! Tonight, with your spirit and enthusiasm, we made an impression on national television.


We cannot thank you enough.


I hope to see you again for our last two games on Thursday and Saturday.  These are BIG games for the team and Saturday is senior night.  Come and say farewell to Drew, Laron and Tim in their last home game.  All three have unique stories, but in the end they are Lions to be proud of how they have represented anyone associated with LMU.  


Again thank you for making last night so special.


Go Lions!

On the web: http://www.wccsports.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/020612aab.html


2012 Zappos.com WCC Basktball Championships ticket/hotel update
Hotel rooms going fast, single-game tickets expected to be available

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Hotel rooms are selling fast for the 2012 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena. The event begins on February 29 and runs through March 5 as 18 teamscompete for two automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament.

The conference has released the following ticket and hotel information for the championships and information will be regularly updated on WCCsports.com in the days leading up to the event:
 
Ticket Availability
All-session tickets are sold out.  
However, a limited number of single game tickets are expected to be available each morning during the tournament at the Orleans Arena box office.  Any single game tickets available will go on sale at 10 a.m. each day for that day's games.

Hotel Availability
The WCC block for championship weekend at the Orleans Hotel still has limited availability, but fans are encouraged to book quickly to ensure rooms at the special WCC rate. Rooms can be reserved by calling 1-800-675-3267 or visiting www.orleanscasino.com/groups and using booking code 2WCCFAN
.

The Palms Casino and the Palms Place and Spa, both official corporate partners of the West Coast Conference for the thirdstraight year, are also offering special WCC room blocks and rates. The Palms will also run a free shuttle to-and-from the Orleans Arena, beginning approximately two hours before tournament games.
 
For more information regarding the 2012 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships, please visit WCCsports.com.

NCAA Reform

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Many of you have read about the NCAA Presidents meeting that was held in August.  The result of that meeting has been the creation of five committees to address the following issues:

1.        Collegiate Model - Committee on Academic Performance (CAP);

2.        Student-Athlete Well-Being Working Group;

3.        Resource Allocation Working Group;

4.        Collegiate Model - Rules Working Group;

5.        Collegiate Model - Enforcement Working Group.

Here are some the the moves that you can expect to occur from each of the Committees.

1.     Collegiate Model - Committee on Academic Performance (CAP)

You can expect the CAP to create a package of academic proposals aimed at improving academic success.  The package of proposals will probably include increased initial-eligibility standards, increased two-year college transfer standards, an increase of the penalty benchmark to 930, and amending the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program penalty structure to include a postseason ban in the first year a team falls below the 930 benchmark. In sum, entering students will need to be more qualified than ever before to compete in their first year and teams will have to consistently perform well in the classroom in order to reach post season play.  A dozen teams would not have qualified fro the NCAA tournament this year, including the Champion UConn team, because of the APR standard.  Our APR for this past year was a perfect 1000.

 

2.     Student-Athlete Well-Being Working Group.

This group is addressing the value of athletics grants-in-aid, terms of grants-in-aid and other ways to enhance the well-being of student-athletes.  They are suggesting a student-athlete who has received a full athletics grant in aid receive additional athletic aid (or other institutional aid, including use of Student Athlete Opportunity Fund) up to the full cost of attendance or $2,000, whichever is less; permit multi-year grants up to the full term of eligibility; eliminate financial aid eligibility restrictions (five years of aid within a six-year period) to permit former student-athletes to return to the institution and receive unearned athletics aid to complete their baccalaureate degree requirements; early graduation from high school and enrollment in college should receive increased scrutiny to ensure that only qualified student-athletes are permitted to engage in practice; and consideration of a category of student-athletes who may qualify for financial aid and practice, but no competition in their initial year in residence.

3.     Resource Allocation Working Group

Look for this group to eliminate non-traditional competition and reduce mandatory out-of-season practice;  explore what a reduction in competition looks like for all sports, including ramifications;  eliminate all foreign travel; a reduction of scholarships in many sports and/or reallocation in others as well as reductions in coaching staffs.

4.     Collegiate Model - Rules Working Group

This group is charged with a full evaluation of the NCAA rules and by-laws - a daunting task and one I won't comment on here.

5.     Collegiate Model - Enforcement Working Group


This group will consider the guiding principles for action, milestones and timeline, prior reviews of the enforcement program and penalty structure, and violation and penalty structure background. 

 

The winds of change lie not only in conference realignment as determined by football primarily, but also in the very structure of the NCAA and the guiding principles of collegiate athletics.  Stay tuned, there will be more forthcoming.

Winds of Change

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Today, the ACC accepted Syracuse and Pittsburgh.  The main impetus of this move is football, the addition of two programs that have won national championships which enhances the stature of that conference in the BCS.  The by products of such a move are the inevitable increase in the strength of the ACC as a basketball conference while also insuring its existence if/when the SEC comes calling for some of the ACC football programs that have been rumored moving.  Football, and the associated dollars from television and bowl games, is THE and ONLY driver in these moves.

So what does this mean for the Big East and the Big 12?  Will there be four, five or six super conferences founded on football?  And what will happen to the rest of the collegiate athletic landscape? 

Certainly the Big East has been weakened.  Look for UConn and Rutgers in particular to attempt to flee that conference.  If the Big East is going to survive, it must look west to the Big 12, which has its own issues in remaining intact.  A year ago, there was a distinct possibility that Kansas would be left in the cold with conference realignment...amazing that one of the hallowed basketball programs could be without a conference home.  Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are all mulling over the possibilities for their institutions.

A couple of years ago, my good friend Dave O'Brien a former athletics director and now the director of the Drexel University sports management program, suggested the creation of a Catholic basketball conference based upon the WCC model.  Today, maybe more so than ever, this move appears to make great sense.  Imagine an "East Coast Conference" with Georgetown, St. Johns, Villanova, Providence, St. Joseph, Marquette, Creighton, and a handful of other candidates creating a basketball rich environment. 

I am very proud of the WCC, through the leadership of Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich, taking the initiative in seeking out BYU to become a Conference member.  We took decisive action to strengthen the Conference rather than watching curiously the happens around the college athletic scene hoping to be minimally negatively impacted.  Certainly those Catholic schools mentioned above must feel somewhat powerless, but they shouldn't.  They can take their fate in their own hands and create something that matches who they are.

Being proactive is what the non-football power schools should be doing in the Big East and the Atlantic 10 Conference.  Basketball is the game for universities like LMU and basketball players want to go where they are the focus of the university rather than encore acts for football.  Where all of this will end I am uncertain.  But I do know, it isn't over.

Terry Sullivan

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LMU lost a great fan in Terry Sullivan.  Terry was a frequent fan and attendee of our athletics contest as well as a great fan of LMU rugby.  Terry was 49 when he passed away and his brother Dan was constantly by his side.  He was also an athlete in his own right, having participated in LMU's Special Games for the past 20 years.  Because of Terry's special needs, he made everyone else he came into contact special.  His sister in-law Rhonda and niece both spoke at the eulogy and told of the lessons that they learned from Terry.  This year, Terry will be in Heaven's front row with Hank and Pete and Bruce and so many others, cheering on the Lions.
Editor's Note: This is a blog from LMU Athletics Director Dr. William Husak, who will be blogging throughout the 2011-12 season. Here are his first thoughts of the season.

The 2011-12 season is the Centennial campaign of LMU. And it got off to a big start. The women's soccer team beat the University of Texas 3-1 in Austin this evening.  Game time temperature was at 101.  Back-up goalie Paige Pennington relieved starting goalie Brittany Jagger after Brit suffered an injury and did a commendable job in goal.  They played a perfect game plan that saw them overwhelm the Longhorns late. Congrats to the soccer team. GO LIONS!

-#LMULIONS-

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